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Glossary Internet Terms

If you have a term you like added to this list, e-mail the webmaster

There are 206 glossary records total.

Glossary Term

Glossary Definition

Access Provider

A company or organization that provides access to the internet.  Usually an internet service provider (ISP).

Active X

A technology developed by Microsoft for sharing information among different applications.  ActiveX supports new features that enable it to take advantage of the Internet.  For example, an ActiveX control can be automatically downloaded and executed by a Web browser.  ActiveX is not a programming language, but rather a set of rules for how applications should share information.  It allows you to create cross-platform, language-independent controls.


A step-by-step problem-solving procedure, especially an established, recursive computational procedure for solving a problem in a finite number of steps.


Letters, numbers and special symbols found on the keyboard, excluding graphic characters.


Pertaining to data represented by continuously variable, measurable physical quantities.  An information form that is represented by a continuous and smoothly varying amplitude or frequency changes over a certain range such as voice or music.


The use of computer instructions to simulate motion of an object on the screen through gradual, progressive movements.

Apache Server

An open source Web server package, mostly used on Linux and Solaris platforms.


Advanced Research Projects Agency Network - The precursor to the Internet.  ARPANet was developed in the late 60's and early 70's by the US Department of Defense as an experiment in wide-area-networking to connect together computers that were each running different system so that people at one location could use computing resources from another location.


Acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange.  A seven-bit code used to represent alphanumeric characters.  It is useful for such things as sending information from a keyboard to the computer, and from one computer to another.


Active Server Pages technology generates HTML and passes the dynamically created HTML to the browser to be displayed to the user.  Microsoft created Active Server Pages to make it easier for developers to create dynamic Web sites in a Windows environment.  Web pages created with ASP usually have an .asp suffix.


A program that translates assembly-language instructions into machine-language instructions.  An assembler program is unique to a particular CPU.

Assembly Language

A machine-orientated language in which mnemonics are used to represent each machine-language instruction.  Each CPU has its own specific assembly language.


Advanced Technology Attachment, a disk drive implementation that integrates the controller on the disk drive itself.


A file that has been attached to an e-mail. It could be almost any type of file, picture, document or even a harmful file like a virus.

Auto Responder

An email message that is sent automatically in response to a message from another email address.  Also known as Autobot or Infobot.


The Central network infrastructure of the Internet is often referred to as the backbone and it allows data to travel from one network to another.


To make a second copy of a file as a safety measure.  The copy may be held on another computer, CD-ROM, DVD or tape.


Acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.  A high level programming language originally developed in 1963 at Dartmouth College as a training language that wasn't as format sensitive as a language like FORTRAN.  In subsequent years, BASIC has gone through a number of variations and upgrades and today is a common programming language with implementations for most operating systems and hardware platforms.  BASIC has been considered a beginning programming language by many people but in fact is a full featured third generation programming language with advanced mathematical functions, and advanced text handling capability.


Bulletin Board Service or System.  A forum for users to browse and exchange information usually on specific topics.


Mathematical base 2, or numbers composed of a series of zeros and ones.  Since zero's and one's can be easily represented by two voltage levels on an electronic device, the binary number system is the basis for digital computing.


The abbreviation for Binary digIT.  A bit is the smallest unit in a computer.  Each binary digit can have one of two values, zero or one.  A bit is referred to as enabled or "on" if it equals one.  A bit is disabled or "off" if it equals zero.


weB LOG – a blog is basically a journal that is available on the Web.  The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger".  Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog.


A word or picture ‘marked’ so that you can jump to it by name from within a list.  Also used by browsers to mark frequently visited web sites.


The process of a computer operating system loading and starting to run when a computer is turned on.  If the operating system is re-started while running, this is called 're-booting'.


A high speed digital connection to the internet.   Broadband connections are 5 to 100 times faster than dialup and allow the visitor to view complex web pages featuring intense graphics, streaming video or similar bandwidth intensive files.  Broadband visitors typically have a full time connection to the internet.   High speed connections are made through a Digital Cable Modem, DSL Modem or T1 Modem.


Software that allows users to access and navigate the World Wide Web hopefully displaying a webpage as the developer intended.  Some Web browsers are graphical while Lynx is a text-based browser.


Parallel or serial lines used to transfer signals between devices.


A group of eight bits that make up the smallest unit of addressable storage in a computer.  One byte is the unit of storage needed to represent one character in memory.  See ASCII.


A general purpose mid-level programming language.  Bjarne Stroustrup developed C++ in 1979 at Bell Labs as an enhancement to the C programming language and named it "C with Classes".  In 1983 it was renamed to C++.  Enhancements started with the addition of classes, followed by, among other features, virtual functions, operator overloading, multiple inheritance, templates, and exception handling. The C++ programming language standard was ratified in 1998 as ISO/IEC 14882:1998, the current version of which is the 2003 version, ISO/IEC 14882:2003. A new version of the standard (known informally as C++0x) is being developed.


Type of computer memory that reads and uses information, but does not allow information to be added, changed, or erased.  Digital information is read by laser.  CD-ROM does not depend upon any proprietary hardware or software, making it an accessible vehicle for electronic publishing.


Common Gateway Interface   a set of rules that describe how a Web Server communicates with another piece of software on the same machine, and how the other piece of software (the CGI program) talks to the Web server.  Any piece of software can be a CGI program if it handles input and output according to the CGI standard.


Real-time communication over the internet.  You type and send messages that appear almost instantly on the computer monitors of the other people who are participating in the chat.


An interactive forum where you can talk in real-time. The chatroom is the place or location online where the chat is taking place.


A category of things that defines the characteristics of its objects and the methods that can be applied to its objects.


A software program that is used to contact and obtain data from a Server software program on another computer, often across a great distance.  A Web Browser is a specific kind of Client.


A section of a computer's memory where you can temporarily copy chunks of text, data, graphics, or pictures.  Once in the clipboard, the item can be pasted into another part of a document, or transferred to another application.


Content Management Systems allow for online updates directly into a database for immediate viewing by website visitors.  CMS Systems dynamically (a server based program) generate HTML pages based on a visitor's request.


COBOL is a third generation programming language developed in the 1960's.  COBOL is widely used for mini and mainframe programming.  It is also available for personal computers.


A language translator that converts a complete program, (source code), into a machine language, (object code), to produce a program,(.exe, executable file), that the computer can process in its entirety.


A technique to reduce the size of a file in order to make it more manageable and quicker to download.  Compressed files have to be extracted using a utility such as PKZip or WinZip.  Such files usually have a .zip extension.  There are also a number of compression schemes than ZIP and have their own extensions.


Electronic machine capable of performing calculations and other manipulations of various types of data, under the control of a stored set of instructions.  The machine itself is the hardware; the instructions are the program or software.  Depending upon size, computers are called mainframes, minicomputers, and microcomputers. Microcomputers include desk-top and portable personal computers.


A piece of information sent by a Web Server to a Web Browser that the Browser software is expected to save and to send back to the Server whenever the browser makes additional requests from the Server.  Depending on the type of Cookie used, and the Browsers' settings, the Browser may accept or not accept the Cookie, and may save the Cookie for either a short time or a long time.  Cookies might contain information such as login or registration information, online "shopping cart" information, user preferences, etc.  When a Server receives a request from a Browser that includes a Cookie, the Server is able to use the information stored in the Cookie.  There are malicious cookies which track your internet activity, login information and send it back to a server.


Central Processing Unit - the "brains" of the computer.  Sometimes referred to simply as the processor or central processor, the CPU is where most calculations take place.  In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system.


Cascading Style Sheets – A W3C recommended language for defining style (such as font, size, color, spacing, etc.) for web documents.  A standard for specifying the appearance of text and other elements. CSS was developed for use with HTML in Web pages.  CSS is typically used to provide a single "library" of styles that are used over and over throughout a large number of related documents, as in a Web site.  A CSS file might specify that all numbered lists are to appear in italics.  By changing that single specification the look of a large number of documents can be easily changed.


Originated by author William Gibson in his novel Necromancer the word Cyberspace is currently used to describe the whole range of information resources available through computer networks.  The term distinguishes the physical world from the virtual or computer-based world.


A representation of facts, concepts, or instructions in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing by humans or by automated means.

Data Transmission

The conveying of data from one functional unit to one or more additional functional units through the transmission of signals by wire, radio, light beam, or any other electromagnetic means.


A large amount of data stored in a well-organized manner.  A file cabinet with information stored in an organized fashion, i.e., alphabetic, numeric or subject order is a database.  In computers, data is in a digital format and indexed by whatever parameter or multiple parameters as defined by the database administrator.


DataBase Administrator - is person who designs, maintains and adminsters. The DBA can carry out the maintenance of a database, sometimes including the applications and content structure.


Correct errors in a computer program.  Also used in hardware development.


Activities or costs associated with the analysis, design, programming, staff training, data conversion, acquisition, and implementation of new information technology applications.


Dynamic HTML - an integration of JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheets, and the Document Object Model.  With DHTML, the content of a web page can move across the screen or respond to user inputs.


An internet connection through a standard analog telephone line.  These are typically slow connections compared to broadband.  While broadband is readily available for some areas, dialup is still the main mode of connection for the majority.


A form of data that transforms analog signals such as speech into a series of electrical or optical pulses that represent the binary digits 0 and 1.


A list of files or other directories on a computer hard drive. (Same thing as a folder.)


Domain Name Server - identifies each computer as a network node on the Internet using an internet protocol address system to translate from domain names to IP numbers and vice-versa.

Domain Name

This is the name used to identify an internet site (website), i.e.,  Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots.  The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general.  This will be the name you obtain for your website.  Also see subdomain.


Disk Operating System - and operating system that incorporates input/output operations for a hard drive.

Download Bandwidth

The amount of computer and network resources required to download a webpage.  It is also an allocation of the bandwidth a client can use within a period of time.  Many free websites have download allocations of 20MB per day and will block access until the following day if the limit is exceeded.


Digital Subscriber Line - A method for moving data over regular phone lines. A DSL circuit is much faster than a regular phone connection, and the wires coming into the subscriber's premises are the same (copper) wires used for regular phone service.  A DSL circuit must be configured to connect two specific locations, similar to a leased line (however a DSL circuit is not a leased line).

Dynamic Web

Refers to a website or webpage where content may be modified by user action.

Dynamic behavior may be created by:

Client-side scripting to change page apparence or behavior in response to mouse or keyboard actions or at specified timing events.   In this case the dynamic behavior occurs within the presentation on the client computer.

Server-side scripting to change the supplied page source.   Server responses may be determined by such conditions as data in a posted HTML form, parameters in the URL, the type of browser being used, the passage of time, or a database or server state.

Both scripting types may be used simultaneously.


Electronic Commerce refers to doing business online.  This may be a complete Online Store, or just the ability to accept online payments for services.  While the general thought on e-commerce is that it involves the transfer of monies on line, it could also be expanded to include forms a visitor fills out requesting a quote or information.


Electronic Mail - Messages, usually text, sent from one person to another via computer.   E-mail can also be sent automatically to a large number of addresses.  An e-mail address has the format of:

Email Address

A code representing a unique email user on the Internet.  Example -


Animated faces that express different emotions you can send in e-mails, chat, and Instant Messaging.  Emoticons are a way to show someone online how you are feeling or your opinion on a subject.


A process that turns files into what appears to be randomly generated characters so that they cannot be read, except by programs containing the appropriate password-protected encryption software.


Ethernet is the most widely-installed local area network technology.  Now specified in a standard, IEEE 802.3, Ethernet was originally developed by Xerox and then developed further by Xerox, DEC, and Intel.  An Ethernet LAN typically uses coaxial cable or special grades of twisted pair wires.  The most commonly installed Ethernet systems are called 10BASE-T and provide transmission speeds up to 10 Mbps.  Devices are connected to the cable and compete for access using a Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) protocol.


An event is a set of actions that can occur when an application is running - e.g., clicking the mouse or pressing a key.  Many modern programs are considered to be event driven because they respond to a mouse click or data input.

Executable files

These are programs or self-extracting files with an .exe (among others) filename extension.  Clicking on an executable file will start the program running.


A type of Internet Web site that is a closed community protected by a password and/or firewalls.  It is typically provided by businesses for suppliers and key customers.


Frequently Asked Questions - a document which answers FAQs about various subjects.


A program or collection of data treated as a unit and stored on disk or tape.


This is a system that creates a special "wall" used by network servers to separate their Intranet from the internet.  It helps keep out unwanted information like spam and viruses and unwanted people like hackers.


Refers to Macromedia Flash.  This is a program that allows you to create animated content for your web page.  To be able to see Flash content you must have an addin for your browser.


Fortran (a blend word derived from The IBM Mathematical Formula Translating System) encompasses a lineage of versions, each of which evolved to add extensions to the language while usually retaining compatibility with previous versions.  Successive versions have added support for processing of character-based data (FORTRAN 77), array programming, module-based programming and object-based programming (Fortran 90 / 95), and object-oriented and generic programming (Fortran 2003).


A device in HTML which allows multiple windows to be viewed simultaneously in one browser screen.  Often used by Web designers to assist navigation.  Frames are generally annoying and being discouraged by best design practices.  They are useful for including data from another website such as maps and weather reports.


Software programs that are free to use, but the author retains control of the original code.


File Transfer Protocol - a method of moving data between two computers on the Internet.  Also the way WebPages are moved from the authoring computer to a website.


Someone who plays programmed games over the internet or on a computer.


Greenwich Mean Time – Coordinated Universal Time (abbreviated as UTC, and therefore often spelled out as Universal Time Coordinated and sometimes as Universal Coordinated Time) is the standard time common to every place in the world.  The time at longitude 0 degrees 0 minutes - the prime meridian or longitudinal line that separates East from West in the world geographical coordinate system. This line of longitude is based on the location of the British Naval Observatory in Greenwich, England, near London.


Graphical User Interface – The GUI is common to all applications written for the Windows environment.– Graphical user interfaces, such as Microsoft Windows and the one used by the Apple Macintosh, feature the following basic components: Pointer, pointing device, icons, desktop, windows, menu.– Web Browsers typically convert HTML code to a GUI.


A computer user who illegally visits networked computers to look around, steal information or cause harm.


Hardware is the general term that is used to describe physical artifacts of a technology.

Hits Statistics

The number of files pulled off a website.   Each webpage is made up of the main page along with external files like CSS, JavaScript and photo files.  Each picture on a page is a separate file that is downloaded and displayed as part of the page by a web browser.  Monitoring the "hits" on a website may be more meaningful to the measure of complexity for a website more so than a measurement of visitation.  A website could have high hits but still relatively few visitors.

Home Page

The main web page for a business, organizational, personal website.  Usually a default page name of index.htm or default.htm.


Hyper Text Markup Language - the coding language used to create Hypertext documents for use on the World Wide Web.  HTML looks a lot like old-fashioned typesetting code, where you surround a block of text with codes that indicate how it should appear.  The "hyper" in Hypertext comes from the fact that in HTML you can specify that a block of text, or an image, is linked to another file on the Internet.  HTML files are meant to be viewed using a "Web Browser".


Hypertext Transfer Protocol - the standard method computers use to communicate via the world wide web.


Hyper-text Transfer Protocol Daemon - a computer program which manages the transfer of hyper-text and multimedia documents over the INTERNET.


HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure - is used to secure Web sites by using encrypted traffic to and from the user by means of Secure Socket Layer (SSL).


Text or a picture embedded in a web page that allows you to access other files or web pages from that location.  Hyperlinks are found on web pages, e-mail and various types of offline documents to allow easy access to a web page or other document.


Documents which contain links to other documents and files within them.


Input/Output - the means through which data is entered and retrieved from a computer. This can include displays, keyboards, printers and scanners.


A program that allows users to communicate with other users in real time.  Users can be alerted when other ICQ users have logged onto the program.  ICQ allows users to chat, Instant-Message, send files, and play games.


Integrated Drive Electronics - a type of ROM or Hard Drive (computer disk). Though being phased out and replaced by SATA, IDE is still the most common storage device interface. Used mostly in home computers.


Instant messaging - a service that allows people to send and get messages almost instantly.  To send messages using Instant Messaging you need to download an Instant-Messaging program and know the Instant-Messaging address of another person who uses the same Instant-Messaging program.


The vast collection of inter-connected networks, connected using TCP/IP protocol.  The Internet evolved from the ARPANET of the late 1960's and early 1970's.

Internet Site

A computer connected to the Internet containing information that can be accessed using an Internet navigation tool such as ftp, telnet, gopher, or a Web browser.


A private internet inside a company or an organization.  Hosted on a webserver but only accessed through the LAN or WAN for the company or organization.

IP Address

Every computer on the Internet has a unique numerical IP address assigned to it, such as 123.456.78.9.


Internet Relay Chat - interactive, real-time discussions between people using text messages.  Users log into designated Net computers and join discussions already in progress.


Internet Service Provider - a company that provide access to the internet usually for a fee.   Common ISP's are AOL, Charter Cable, Comcast Cable, EarthLink, and SBCGlobal.  ISP's provide a portal to the internet through dial up or broadband connections.  They usually provide e-mail accounts for their users.   Companies also use ISP's to provide an internet port though they have their own internet and e-mail servers.


Information Technology - means all computerized and auxiliary automated information handling, including systems design and analysis, conversion of data, computer programming, information storage and retrieval, voice, video, data communications, requisite systems controls, and simulation.  The term "information technology" is commonly abbreviated as "IT".  A department within an organization dealing with computers, networks and software.


A high-level programming language developed by Sun Microsystems, Java is an object-oriented language similar to C++, but simplified to eliminate language features that cause common programming errors.  Compiled Java code can run on most computers because Java interpreters and runtime environments, exist for most operating systems.


An interpreted programming or script language developed by Netscape.  The script is embedded in HTML web pages and executed by the web visitors browser rather than on a web server.  Most web browsers now support JavaScript.  Because it executes on the visitors browser, it minimizes the load on the site web server making it's usage popular with web developers.  It is most often used for such features as roll over buttons and images, cascading menus, random pictures on page load and slideshows like the example on this site.


A widely-used compressed graphic file format.  Acronym of the Joint Photographic Experts Group.  Due to the compression algorithm, this is a lossy format that can lose definition if edited and save a number of times.


Java Server Pages - a scripting language based on Java for developing dynamic Web pages and sites.  It is typically used on Solaris and Linux platforms though a version is available to run on a Windows web server.


The word(s) you use when looking for information within a search engine.  Webmasters try to optimize their website for the best placement on a search return.


Local Area Network - is by far the most common type of data network.  As the name suggests, a LAN serves a local area (typically the area of a floor of a building, but in some cases spanning a distance of several kilometer).  Typical installations are in industrial plants, office buildings, college or university campuses, or similar locations.  In these locations, it is feasible for the owning Organization to install high quality, high-speed communication links interconnecting nodes.  Data transmission speeds are one to 1000 megabits per second.

Life Cycle

The anticipated length of time that an information technology system or application can be expected to be efficient, cost-effective and continue to meet the application requirements.


A widely used Open Source Unix-like operating system.  Linux was first released by its inventor Linus Torvalds in 1991.  There are versions of Linux for almost every available type of computer hardware from desktop machines to IBM mainframes.  The inner workings of Linux are open and available for anyone to examine and change as long as they make their changes available to the public. This has resulted in thousands of people working on various aspects of Linux and adaptation of Linux for a huge variety of purposes, from servers to TV-recording boxes.  Linux is the operating system of choice for a large number of web-servers.

List Server

A list server is a device that operates mailing lists and distributes new messages, newsletters, or other postings from list members to the entire list's subscribers.  Postings can be delivered as they are received or they can be digested and delivered on a scheduled basis.

Maillist (or Mailing List)

A (usually automated) system that allows people to send e-mail to one address, whereupon their message is copied and sent to all of the other subscribers to the mail list.  In this way, people who have many different kinds of e-mail access can participate in discussions of common interest together.

Microfocus Compiler

A PC-based, COBOL compiler in both DOS and Windows versions.


Some FTP sites are so heavily used that in order to relieve the load, their entire contents are copied to and made available by other sites.  These are then known as 'mirror sites'.


A modulator/demodulator device that allows computer information to be sent and received.  Orginally used with a computer and telephone line, there usage has expanded to include Cable, DSL and Trunk Lines.


A digital music file.  MP3s allow you to play music on your computer but require special software.  Most new computers come with programs that support MP3 and other sound file formats.


A family of multimedia standards developed by the Motion Picture Experts Group, commonly used to refer to audio or visual files saved with MPEG compression schemes.  Files usually have an .mpg extension.


Documents which contain text, sound, graphics and video elements that are all capable of being displayed to the user.

MySQL Relational Database

A popular open source relational database system.  MySQL is a fast space efficient relational database system included with many hosting packages.  Because of it's commonality, this is a good choice for online database development.

National Information Infrastructure

The official U.S. government name for the Internet and other computer networks.  Commonly known as the Information Superhighway.


The act of moving from page to page on a website and web site to web site online.  It is also called browsing or surfing.

Net Surfer

Someone who browses the Internet with no definite destination.


Two or more computers linked together electronically for the purpose of electronically sharing resources such as computer files, programs, peripheral devices, and either centralized or distributed services.


Virtual message boards or discussion groups that are subject-specific on the internet.  Participants in a newsgroup conduct discussions by posting messages for others to read and respond to the messages posted by others.  It's like a community bulletin board where you can post and read messages.


An entity that has its own data and its own methods for manipulating that data; declaring objects is a way of indicating which elements appear in the program, and then naming these elements and assigning values to them an object is a specific thing that belongs to a class -- in Object-oriented/Event-driven languages, the emphasis of a program is on the objects included in the user interface (such as scroll bars and buttons) and the events (such as scrolling and clicking) that occur when those objects are used.

Object-Oriented Programming Language

A type of programming in which programmers define not only the data type of a data structure, but also the types of operations (functions) that can be applied to the data structure.  In this way, the data structure becomes an object that includes both data and functions.  In addition, programmers can create relationships between one object and another.  For example, objects can inherit characteristics from other objects.  C++, Java and Visual Basic are object-oriented languages.


Optical Character Recognition - software that translates a scanned image of printed or typewritten text into a plain text file that can be read by a word processor.  Most OCR software can be used from within a word processor other text base program.

Office Automation

This term has many meanings depending on the context in which it's used.  In some cases, it refers to multi-function office equipment to fax, print and scan.  It also refers to connecting functions between Microsoft Office programs together such as MS-Outlook and MS-Access.  It can include other software products as well, such as automated form filling in Adobe Acrobat.  Office automation may be implemented on one or many computers depending on the need.


Not connected to the internet.


Actively connected to the internet.

Online Grooming

Using the internet to manipulate and gain trust of a minor as a first step towards the future sexual abuse, production, or exposure of that minor.  Sometimes involves developing the child’s sexual awareness and may take days, weeks, months, or some cases years to manipulate the minor.

Open Source Software

Software for which the underlying programming code is available to the users so that they may read it, make changes to it, and build new versions of the software incorporating their changes.  There are many types of Open Source Software, mainly differing in the licensing term under which (altered) copies of the source code may (or must be) redistributed.

Operating System

The operating system or "OS" is a program, or a collection of programs, that manages all your computer's resources - disk drives, RAM, display screen - and controls how files are stored and retrieved.  Without the "OS" a computer is just a collection of electronic components that when plugged in draw power and do little else.


The secret word you use when signing onto the internet or an online service that helps to confirm your identity.  Passwords should not be shared with others.


Portable Document Format - a file format developed by Adobe Systems for capturing formatted page layouts for distribution.  Requires the proprietary Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is given away free of charge.  PDF readers are available for most all operating systems and hardware platforms.


With respect to a particular computer any external equipment that can communicate directly with that computer.  Displays, keyboards, printers and scanners are all examples of a peripheral device.


Practical Extraction Report Language – a programming language that combines syntax from several UNIX utilities and languages.  Perl is designed to handle a variety of system administrator functions and provides comprehensive string handling functions.  It is widely used to write Web server programs for such tasks as automatically updating user accounts and newsgroup postings, processing removal requests, synchronizing databases and generating reports.  Perl has also been adapted to non-UNIX platforms.


An online scam that uses e-mail to "fish" for users' private information by imitating legitimate companies.  People are lured into sharing user names, passwords, account information or credit-card numbers.  The phishing e-mail usually contains a link to an illegitimate site.  Scammers copy the look of a web site to set up a nearly identical page, one that appears to be part of that company's site.

PHP Scripting Language

PHP is a popular open source server side scripting language typically used with LINUX/UNIX servers but has also found it's way to some windows servers.  It is used to program dynamically generated web pages that interact with databases.  PHP is very common, typically included with most LINUX hosting packages so special hosting isn't required as with some other languages and development packages.   The initials come from it's early development as "Personal Home Page Tools."


Illegally copying copyrighted software, music, or movies.


A program that extends the capabilities of your browser.  Programs that allow online read of PDF (Portable Document Format) files or view FLASH websites are plug-ins.


An audio show that is broadcast over the web.  Users can listen to these shows on a digital music player or a computer.  Podcasts can include talk shows, music, or other types of audio.


Post Office Protocol refers to a way that e-mail client software such as Eudora or MS-Outlook gets mail from a mail server.


To leave a message on a newsgroup or bulletin board.

Privacy Policy

The policy that a company or organization operating a web site uses for handling the personal information collected about visitors to the site.


A sequence of instructions to a computer that when executed, cause the computer to behave in a predetermined manner.  The instructions are in a binary format (ones and zeros) compatible with the particular computer.

Public Domain Software

Shareware programs that are free to use and modify, as the author has relinquished control over the code.


A request for information about a certain topic.  A query is what you put in the box when you type something into a search engine.


Random Access Memory - A computer's working memory where programs and information are stored.  the larger the RAM in a computer, the less time it spends waiting on information from the hard drive.


Read Only Memory computer memory that can be read but it's contents can't be change.


A special-purpose computer (or software package) that handles the connection between 2 or more networks.  Routers look at the source and destination addresses of the data passing through them and deciding which route to send them on.


Really Simple Syndication a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently changing works.


Serial Advanced Technology Attachment is a new standard for connecting hard drives into computer systems.  Transfer rates for Serial ATA begin at 150 MBps and SATA II 300MBps.  As its name implies, SATA is based on serial signaling technology, unlike current IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) hard drives that use parallel signaling.

Search Engine

A program that searches information on the world wide web by looking for specific keywords and returns a list of information found on that topic.

Google and Yahoo are examples of online services that provide search capability across the internet.

Search Engine Return Page (SERP)

Search Engine Return Page is the page returned by a search engine when you enter terms for a web search.  The ideal position for a website to appear on the SERP is the very first return.  Appearing on the first page is very good.  Some studies indicate that if users haven't found what they look for on the first three pages, they seldom look further.


A special software package that connects to a network and provides data.  The computer that this software runs on is also often called the server.  Servers may control network security, provide print services, database services or provide a repository for storing files on a network.  Servers are usually more robust than desktop computers.


Standard Generalised Markup Language - a meta-language that provides a comprehensive set of syntax rules for marking up the structure of documents and data. [HTML is a subset of SGML.]


Software programs that you can try before you buy.  If you decide to use a program, you should send a payment to the author or publisher.


Programs, procedures, rules, and any associated documentation pertaining to the operation of a system.


Unsolicited Commercial E-mail - Junk E-mail - Unwanted E-mail.  In general, e-mail you didn't ask for.  Some is generated by marketing companies with an opt-out link.  Other is generated by persons wanting to clog up e-mail servers and the Internet in general.  Recent estimates suggest that SPAM may constitute 70% of all e-mail.  Most e-mail addresses shown in the FROM: is bogus.  Most recently, there have been virus programs created solely for the purpose of sending SPAM from personal computers.


A term used to describe search engines because of the way they cruise all over the World Wide Web to find information.   It is a software program that combs the Web for new sites and updated information on old ones, like a spider looking for a fly.  A software application that automatically finds and retrieves information from the Web. Also called a “robot” or “crawler.”  While generally associated with search engines, they are also programs to search the web and harvest e-mail address for use in SPAM e-mails.


Structured Query Language - a standard language for talking to databases.


Secure Socket Layer - secures Web sites with encrypted traffic to and from the site user (see HTTPS).

Static Web

A webpage or website where the display is determined by the source code on the hosting computer.  The apparence of the page can only be changed by changing the source code.


A technology for delivering audio or video files so that they can be heard or seen while downloading, without having to wait for the complete file.

Style Sheet

A template or a file which defines the layout of a document or a series of documents.

Subdomain or Sub-Domain

A second level domain name associated with your primary domain.  The format is  A subdomain is usually hosted on the same web server as your primary domain but can be hosted at another location if you are using a managed DNS service like  Some hosting companies limit the number of subdomains you may have while others do not.  Subdomains allow specialized functions on your website to have direct access.


A point to point digital communications system capable of moving 1.544 million bits per second (Mbps).  T1 communications is broken down into 24 distinct channels.


(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) - This is the suite of protocols that defines the Internet.  Originally designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP software is now included with every major kind of computer operating system. To be truly on the Internet, your computer must have TCP/IP software.


Includes voice and data communications, the transmission or reception of signals, writing, sounds, or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, light beam, or any other electromagnetic means.


A method of logging into another computer as a terminal on that computer.


A ready prepared page layout for the internet or word processor documents.  Many companies offer templates for web pages that are essentially a predesigned website that you modify with your own text and graphics.

Advanced web authoring programs like Dream Weaver or Microsoft Expression web, allow templates to be developed for the general outline of a website.  This type of template usually contains banners, footers and the navigation structure for a website.  Changes to the template are deployed to all pages that use the template rather than having to edit each page individually.


A device that allows you to send commands to a computer somewhere else.

Terminal Emulation

Generally a carry over from mainframe and mini-computer networks.  A program usually on a PC or MAC, that emulates a specific type of computer terminal.


Terminal emulation of an IBM 3270 terminal.

Unique Visitors

The number of visitors to a website with a unique IP address as tracked by website statistical software.


A computer operating system (the basic software running on a computer, underneath things like word processors and spreadsheets).  Unix is designed to be used by many people at the same time (it is multi-user) and has TCP/IP built-in.  It is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.


Uniform Resource Locator - another term for web address the complete website address, i.e., WWW.FMNETDESIGN.COM.


The name given to the computer network which carries newsgroups - newsgroups are arranged in heirarchies based loosely on subject matter.  The USENET is often confused with the INTERNET in the news media - started by two students at Duke University.


Universal Time Coordinated and sometimes as Universal Coordinated Time) is the standard time common to every place in the world.  Formerly and still widely called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and also World Time, UTC nominally reflects the mean solar time along the Earth's prime meridian.

An international, highly accurate and stable uniform atomic time system kept very close, by offsets, to the universal time corrected for seasonal variations in the earth's rotation rate. Maintained by the U.S. Naval Observatory.

Video Conferencing

A type of communicating in real time with two or more people at different locations via video.


A computer-generated environment.

Virtual Private Network

VPN - a network that uses a telecommunication infrastructure, such as the Internet or a company Local Area Network (LAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN), to provide remote offices or individual users with secure access to their organization's network.


A computer program that can destroy files or make your computer "crash" or simply be annoying.  Viruses can be sent via e-mail or through other file-sharing programs.  Anti-virus software and not downloading information from people you don't know can help keep viruses from damaging your computer.


Virtual Reality Modelling Language.  This is a file format which allows you to create 3D graphics for the Internet.


Terminal emulation of a DEC VT100 terminal.


Wide Area Network - refers to a network which covers a large geographical area, and use communications circuits to connect the intermediate nodes.  A major factor impacting WAN design and performance is a requirement that they lease communications circuits from telephone companies or other communications carriers.  Transmission rates are typically 2 Mbps, 34 Mbps, 45 Mbps, 155 Mbps, 625 Mbps (or sometimes considerably more).

Web 2.0

Web-based communities, services, and programs, which aim to facilitate collaboration and sharing between users.

Web Conferencing

Web Conferencing is used to hold group meetings or live presentations over the Internet.

Web Developer

A person or company that develops websites. A web developer handles all aspects of programming and scripting for a website.  This includes adding pictures, client text, creating hyperlinks and implementing the site.  A web developer can also act as web master and maintain/update the site once implemented.  A web developer usually helps the client find a hosting company for their site.

Web Host

A company that owns web servers hosting websites for other businesses, organizations or people, usually for a fee.  Internet Service Providers often offer their clients a small amount of web space for a personal website as part of their account.  There are companies who offer free hosting but at the cost of having advertising appear on the site over which the client has no control.

Web Page

A document designed for viewing in a web browser. Typically written in HTML but may be dynamically generated using ASP or PHP.    A web site is made of one or more web pages.

Web Page Editor

A computer program that allows you to write web pages.  There are WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors and HTML editors.

Web Robot

Automated programs that search the web and collect information about websites.  Also know as crawlers, spiders and wanderers normally associated with search engines.  They identify sites and key terms that are indexed into search engine databases for retrieval by search engines.

Web Server

A specialized computer that stores and provides access to a website.  A web server may store many websites but provide visitors, pages from the website they request.


A web seminar held online using a web conferencing system.  Sometimes webinars are also recordings of live sessions that are available to anyone on demand.

Webmaster or Web Master

The person responsible for a website, assuring website quality.  This includes assuring links between pages and other sites are functional, site availability, and download speed is adequate for the target visitors.  The webmaster may be responsible for designing new pages for the website or updating existing pages.  Large sites may have more than one webmaster each responsible for their own areas of the website.


The entire collection of web pages and other information (such as images, sound, and video files, etc.) that are made available through what appears to users as a single web server.  Typically all the of pages in a web site share the same basic URL that are associated with a company or organization.

Website Statistics

Information regarding visitation to a website.  Most hosting companies have a statistics package to allow their website clients to monitor how much attention their website is attracting.  Some of the information provided is the number of unique visitors, total visitors, pages visited, web robots visiting, pages visited, bandwidth used, and search engine referrals.  Common website statistics programs are Awstats and Urchin.


World Wide Web - the name given to the collection of computers which serve information in hypertext format to the INTERNET.  Invented by Dr. Tim Berners-Lee, at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), who wrote the first hyper text transfer protocol daemon (HTTPD) and the first hyper text markup language (HTML) browser, as a way to allow nuclear physicists to exchange working papers over the computer networks.


What you see is what you get.


Extensible Markup Language - a new standard for marking up documents and data.  It is based on SGML, but with a reduced feature set that is more appropriate for distribution via the Web.  XML allows authors to create customised tags not available in HTML.


Extensible Style Language - a system for controlling the presentation of XML documents and structured data.


Short for the year 2000. A buzzword became widely used in 1999 when many computer analyst were concerned about the year 2000 "bug". Many computer systems, especially older ones used a 2 digit field to represent the year. There was concern that at midnight of the year 2000, these computers would roll back to 1900. Most computers were updated prior to Y2K and while there were some problems, it wasn't the disaster that many predicted.

Zip File

A file that has been compressed using special software to save disk space or make it easier to send over the internet.  A special software program is required to "Zip" or "UnZip" a file.  Some operating systems (Windows Vista) provide the ability to "UnZip" files but few include the "Zip" capability.

Zulu Time

Used in the military and in navigation generally as a term for Universal Coordinated Time (UCT) formerly called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).  In military shorthand, the letter Z follows a time expressed in Greenwich Time.

Greenwich Time, now called Universal Coordinated Time, is the time at longitude 0 degrees 0 minutes - the prime meridian or longitudinal line that separates East from West in the world geographical coordinate system. This line of longitude is based on the location of the British Naval Observatory in Greenwich, England, near London. "Zulu" is the radio transmission articulation for the letter Z.